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Council launch new plan to support economic recovery 

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Kerry County Council has published an Economic Recovery Plan to help support and guide the county through the challenges of the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's hoped the plan, a multi-stakeholder response to the impact that COVID-19 has had, will help stimulate and support economic recovery and activity in the county.

The Economic Recovery Plan addresses the need to build resilience and diversification into Kerry’s economy to respond to the additional challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in the county, including in the post-Brexit and post-COVID-19 environment, the transition to climate neutrality, the transition to a digital economy and the opportunities presented by remote or blended working.

It is a comprehensive plan with some 189 actions. Among its key objectives/targets are to rollout a significant programme to support the reopening of business in the county from targeted campaigns promoting Kerry as a leading destination for business, tourism, investment, and study to investments in outdoor dining and performance spaces throughout the county, to deliver energy efficiency retrofitting upgrades to local authority housing stock, and public lighting, as well as the continued ‘greening’ of public buildings, to provide resilience to the impacts of climate change, for example, through the development and implementation of a Climate Action Plan, to support local enterprises in the areas of research, technology and green innovations that work towards a carbon-neutral circular economy.

GREEN TOURISM

It also includes plans to work in partnership with key stakeholders to retain, promote, and drive Kerry’s position as a premier international tourism destination, with a focus on developing green and sustainable tourism, to deliver green tourism infrastructure in the county, including greenways, walkways and the implementation of new and existing Visitor Destination Development Plans, and to support businesses on their digital journey and deliver research, upskilling and reskilling to match new opportunities in this space.

The continued rollout of the National Broadband Plan will also be supported as well as facilitating the remote working infrastructure throughout the county.

Launching the report, Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell said:

"It is a short-medium term economic recovery plan which includes immediate COVID-19 targeted response measures and medium to longer term economic recovery measures, intended to support, stimulate and strengthen our economy and aligned with national and regional policy. The actions and investment proposed under the 10 pillars are designed to stimulate vibrancy in our towns and villages, support the sustainable growth of our key economic sectors and the future-proofing of our economy and environment."

To read more about the plan go to www.kerrycoco.ie/new-189-point-action-plan-to-support-economic-recovery-in-kerry/. 

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Is it a good time to sell your property?

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year. The MyHome.ie quarterly report found the market had held up […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year.

The MyHome.ie quarterly report found the market had held up better than evidence had suggested in 2022. The number of vendors cutting asking prices remained at low levels, while many house prices were being settled above asking prices.

However, the report warned that the resilience of the housing marking is set to be tested this year. It found annual asking price inflation slowed to six percent nationwide, meaning the asking price for the average home in Ireland is now €330,000.

There were 15,000 available properties for sale on MyHome.ie in the fourth quarter of the year – an improvement on the same time last year but still below pre-pandemic levels.

Average time to sale agreed was 2.7 months nationwide which the report said is indicative of a very tight housing market.

The report said it expects to see 28,400 house completions in 2022, exceeding its previous forecast of 26,500 finished units.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at stockbrokers Davy, said it appeared the market had held up better than evidence had suggested.

“The number of vendors cutting their asking prices is still at low levels. Also, transactions in Q4 were still being settled above asking prices, indicative of a tight market,” he said.

Recent months had seen worrying trends in the homebuilding sector, with housing starts slowing, and the construction PMI survey pointing to the flow of new development drying up.

“We still expect housing completions will pick up to 28,400 in 2022 and 27,000 in 2023. However, the outlook for 2024 is far more uncertain. The Government’s ambitious plans to expedite planning processes are welcome although, as ever, the proof will be in the pudding,” he added.

Locally, and unsurprisingly, the lack of supply of new and second-hand properties remains the dominant issue. There has been very little new construction due largely to the rising cost of construction, labour, materials and utilities which in turn is putting pressure on the second hand market.

This market proved particularly strong in 2022 with active bidding experienced on the majority of house sales and a large proportion of guide prices being generally exceeded.

The detached family home end of the market is particularly strong with increased competition for a limited number of available well located family homes.

So, what lies ahead and is it a good time to sell your property?

The answer is a tight market with scarcity of supply being a factor. If selling now you will benefit greatly from a lack of supply of available homes (therefore less competition) provided your property is marketed correctly of course!

For anyone considering placing their property on the market, contact DNG Ted Healy 064 6639000 killarney@dng.ie for genuine honest advice on how to achieve the best possible price for your home.

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Tourism VAT rate should be “continued indefinitely”

A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its […]

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A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its customers”.

The reduced VAT rate of 9% was introduced by the Government in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the hospitality sector.

“I believe a return to a 13.5% Tourism VAT rate would be counterproductive at this stage, to small and medium businesses that welcome visitors to our country and our county,” Councillor Michael Cahill said.

“Catered food is already charged at 13.5%, alcohol at 23% and accommodation presently at 9%. This sector is providing pretty decent returns to the Exchequer and should be supported. All parties in this debate, including the Government and accommodation providers, should review their position and ensure their actions do not contribute to ‘killing the Goose that laid the Golden Egg’.”

He explained that the tourism industry is “in a very volatile market”, as can be seen by the enormous challenges “posed by COVID-19 in recent years”.

“A grain of rice could tip the balance either way and great care must be taken not to damage it irreparably. We are all aware that the next six to 12 months will be extremely difficult for many businesses with the increase in the cost of oil and gas, etc,, and a return to the 13.5% VAT rate will, in my opinion, close many doors. If a minority are ‘price gouging’, then it should be possible to penalise them and continue to support the majority who offer value for money to our visitors.”

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